Aug 21 • 53M

Episode 121: A Wholesome Story About Nuts

Plus a Road Trip to Beecham's Curve for Mayo Ice Cream and More

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Stu Helm
This podcast is mostly about food
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Podcast Contents

Talkin' about growing up around nuts with Marshall Rabil, current co-owner and grandson of the original founders of Hubs Virginia Peanuts, in Franklin, VA...

  1. 00:00 - 3:25 INTRO

  2. 3:36 - 27:40 INTERVIEW w/ Marshall Rabil from Hubs Virginia Peanuts

  3. 27:50 - 47:10 Field Report from The Hop Creamery

  4. 47:20 - 53:55 OUTRO w/ review of Grateful Organic Cafe in Marshall*

* It is pure coincidence that this podcast & newsletter feature both an interview with a man named Marshall and a trip to a town named Marshall.

HUBS NUTS: You may or may not recall that way back in March of this year I got some nuts in the mail. Here’s the (updated) post I made and shared about those nuts back then…

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NUTS! I got a bunch of delish peanuts and peanut based snacks in the mail from Hubs Virginia Peanuts! I love peanuts, and these are great peanuts, peanut brittle & party mix, that come in really nice tins that keep them super fresh and crunchy! The basic salted peanuts are perfect, the brittle is sweet & nutty (as expected!), and the party mix is literally the best party mix I’ve ever had. I don’t get jazzed about party mix usually, because it can be kind of weird, and not that great, but this party mix is unique, and has a lot of stuff going on, including Cheez-Its, and pretzels and sesame sticks and salted peanuts and honey kissed peanuts, and some other stuff too! Some of it has sort of a honey mustard flavor, some of it’s just straight up salty, but yeah, definitely the best party mix I’ve ever had. Hubs is a family owned business, that has been around since the 1950s, and you can visit their website here: Not only do I think these make a great snack, but I also think, especially because of the nice tins they come in, they make a nice gift as well for your nut loving friends and family!

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Well, as you can tell from my enthusiastic review at the, the nuts were excellent! I shold have also mentioned that I am not usually a huge fan of brittle, but, like the party mix, Hubs’ peanut brittle was a cut above and totally excellent. It was sweet of course, but also salty & kind of buttery.

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More recently, I was very happy to speak with Marshall Ribal via Zoom and learn about his family’s historic peanut company, which was started by his grandparents after World War 2 and continues, stronger than ever, and family-owned to this very day. Please be sure to listen to my interview with Marshall in the podcast above, and be sure to read their whole story here and watch their charming video here.

THE HOP: Now, just in case you’re confused by this post, Tubby, the unhinged Duke’s Mayo mascot has come and gone already. I took the trip to The Hop Ice Creamery with my nephew featured in the post below and in the podcast above before Tubby’s visit to Asheville.

Okay, folks… it’s ON! My nephew, and I took a trip to The Hop Ice Cream’s creamery to talk with co-owner Greg Garrison about their Duke's Mayonnaise chocolate cake ice cream, and meet Al, the person who made it! And of course, to try some. It. Was. Insanely. Delicious! It’s as rich as can be, and has a wonderful vanilla-chocolate flavor, with a very subtle tang from the Duke’s! This ice cream will be available for a very limited time — when it’s gone it’s gone — and The Hop will be giving it away on Thursday August 3rd for Tubby’s visit to Pack Park, from 9am - 11am, or until they run out! So, yes, the ice cream, the chocolate cake, and the chocolate frosting ribbon in the ice cream all contain Duke’s Mayo! When we did the math, it works out to about 1 cup of Duke’s in every gallon of ice cream! 😋 Come get some on Thursday morning!

As I said, this event has already happened, so DO NOT show up to pack square to meet Tubby. He’s not there. The ice cream was GREAT, of course, but it’s long gone too, so you’ll have to petition The Hop to bring it back, or pray to The Almighty Twang that Tubby comes back to town. In the meantime, visit The Hop and try their blueberry kale ice cream. Settle down, un-wrinkle your nose, it’s delicious. Would I steer you wrong?

GRATEFUL ORGANIC CAFE IN MARSHALL, WNC: Dawn & I took a trip to Marshall, WNC on Friday to meet family for lunch. Dawn’s sister & her husband are vegetarian so we went to a place called Grateful Organic Diner and had a proper and delicious hippy-style experience all around! The music was 100% Grateful Dead and Grateful Dead adjacent, ie: Jerry Garcia Band, Robert Hunter, Boby & The Midnights etc etc. The atmosphere was casual beyond casual. There was no AC. And the food was frickin’ great!!! I was a long-haired, Dead-lovin’, vegetarian hippie myself once, and so was Dawn, so this was a real blast from the past for us both, and touched a lot of nostalgia notes.

Dawn got the Bliss Bowl with grilled tempeh, and let me try it. It was very fresh & flavorful, satisfying & delicious. The tempeh was grilled just right. I like tempeh when it’s good, which I guess you could say about anything! I got an iced coffee and the eggs Benedict with carrot bacon, and I loved it! The carrot bacon was a playful replacement on the piggy element usually present in eggs Benedict. The “signature biscuit” under the perfectly poached eggs was soft and somewhat focaccia-like, and the hollandaise sauce on tope was also just right. Neither too stiff nor too runny, and subtly tangy, though creamy & comforting. My in-laws both got the veggie burger, and crushed it!

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Afterwards we went to Ivy & the Poet where we bought more coffee and some super-delish pastries. All in all, it was another wonderful trip to Marshall! It’s such a great little town, I think we’ll do our next WNC staycation there. The Old Marshall Jail Hotel seems like an insanely cute place to get a room. Let me know all your food, beverage & hiking suggestions for Marshall in the comments. 🙂

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